After the death of a loved one, you may learn that your loved one had a trust. Living trusts allow estates to be distributed without the expensive and time-consuming involvement of probate court. When a trust is created, the person creating the trust, known as a settlor, gives instructions for who will serve as the trustee and who are the beneficiaries of the trust. The instructions will also specify which assets are in the trust, how they are to be used, and to whom they are to be distributed, as well as when they should be distributed. These matters are often complex, so retaining an estate planning lawyer may be useful. If you are tasked with trust administration, or you are a beneficiary worried about the work being done by a trustee, the Grand Rapids and Traverse City trust administration attorneys at Neumann Law Group may be able to help.Trust Administration
When appointing a trustee, a settlor must appoint someone who is reliable. Often, the trustee is the settlor during the settlor's life, but the settlor needs to make provisions for who will take over the trust and manage its assets after their death. The trustee will need to be able to follow instructions and follow Michigan law. The trustee will need to go through the process of trust administration after the settlor's death.
Trust administration involves a wide variety of tasks and is an immense responsibility. Among other things, the person administering the trust must give notice to creditors and trust beneficiaries, provide an accounting of trust assets and income, file tax returns and pay any taxes owed, make payments as required from the trust assets, and transfer legal ownership of assets to beneficiaries according to the instructions provided. The trustee or trust administrator has a fiduciary duty to beneficiaries. Our trust administration lawyers can help Traverse City and Grand Rapids residents make sure that the trustee is held to this duty.
A fiduciary duty is the highest duty that may be imposed on a person. Trustees may not misappropriate assets or act in their own best interest. They are expected to do their best job to make sure that the property is handled appropriately, according to both law and the decedent's instructions. It is often necessary for a trust administrator to have legal help to ensure that the assets are handled and transferred appropriately. Trust administration happens outside court, but usually beneficiaries are watching closely, and they may petition the court when there is a potential problem with how the trustee is handling their trust administration duties.Retain an Experienced Trust Administration Attorney in Grand Rapids or Traverse City
Whether you are a trustee in Michigan who knows that you need legal assistance to properly administer a trust, or you are a beneficiary who wants to make sure that a trust administrator is doing their job, the Traverse City and Grand Rapids trust administration lawyers at Neumann Law Group may be able to help. We are familiar with the complexities that may arise in matters related to trust administration. Our firm also represents people in Ann Arbor, Flint, Lansing, Kalamazoo, Detroit, Wyoming, Saginaw, Muskegon, Midland, Holland, Warren, and Petoskey, as well as communities throughout the Upper Peninsula. Contact Neumann Law Group at 800-525-NEUMANN or via our online form to set up an appointment to discuss your situation. We also are available to assist people who need a wills attorney or representation in other estate planning matters.